Blue Jays: Will the front office attempt to trade Russell Martin?
With four catchers already on the roster, and Russell Martin’s game in a decline, are the Blue Jays looking to trade the veteran catcher? And if so, can they get a good return for him?
With Danny Jansen, Reese McGuire, Luke Maile, and Russell Martin all on the Blue Jays roster, and the youth transition going to be in full effect next season, the Blue Jays may be looking to trade Russell Martin this winter. Is there a team out there that would be interested in the 35 year old catcher?
Martin’s offensive numbers took a decline this past season, with a career low wRC, career low batting average, and career low WAR. Although he did have a career high BB% to accompany his career low swing %.
Despite the fact that Martin’s better years are behind him and his offensive statistics aren’t the most appealing, he’s most certainly still capable of being a starting major league catcher, and that is because of his defensive abilities. Martin is an above average pitch framer and he is above average at blocking – although he is below average at stolen base prevention – a statistic that Blue Jays catchers have struggled with for years.
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Is there a team out there that would be interested in trading for Martin though? He’s is set to make a whopping 20 million next season, so it won’t be the easiest task. Obviously the number of zeros on that contract won’t look very attractive to teams who may be interested in trading for Martin, but if the Blue Jays eat some or most of that money, who’s to say there won’t be a trading partner for the veteran catcher?
After last year’s down season, most people are clamouring for a Russell Martin trade to free up more playing time for Danny Jansen and Reese McGuire. There is an alternative to that though – and that would be keeping Martin on the team as a mentor to the younger players and more specifically the young catchers.
Going into his 13th MLB season, the 35 year old veteran catcher could be a valuable asset this upcoming season if he sticks around in Toronto, even if it has nothing to do with his on field production. Much like Kendrys Morales who took up a leadership role last season, Martin may find himself sitting on the bench a lot this upcoming season being a mentor to the youngsters on the team. That is, if the Blue Jays don’t find a trade partner this winter.